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Canadian Government To Overturn Usage-Billing Rules
New Pricing 'Not In The Best Interest Of Consumers,' Says Official
by Karl Bode 09:16AM Thursday Feb 03 2011 Tipped by fatness See Profile
On the heels of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper saying he'd order a review of the CRTC's highly-controversial new usage-based-billing rules, the Toronto Star now says the rules will be reversed. That's at least according to a government official speaking anonymously, so we'll of course keep you updated as the news evolves (though Tony Clement confirms the plan via Twitter). The CRTC, stocked with executives from Canada's largest providers, has been called to testify before the government to justify the nation's new confusing and punitive pricing.

"The CRTC should be under no illusion — the Prime Minister and minister of Industry will reverse this decision unless the CRTC does it itself," a senior Conservative government official tells the paper. "If they don’t reconsider we will reverse their decision." The source proceeded to insist the "bread-and-butter" issue is "not in the best interest of consumers," something the Canadian users in our forums would certainly agree with.

As we noted at length yesterday, such pricing (attempted briefly by AT&T and Time Warner Cable in the States before a a similar consumer revolt pushed them back) is portrayed by carriers as an economically necessary issue of fairness, but is a play geared entirely toward jacking up already expensive North American broadband rates while protecting television revenue from disruptive business models. There's no financial justification outside of greed for any North American terrestrial ISP to be charging overage fees so massively out of line with real-world economics.

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